Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 1990 Mar;138(1):104-13.

Naturally occurring and induced neuronal death in the chick embryo in vivo requires protein and RNA synthesis: evidence for the role of cell death genes.

Author information

Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103.


Treatment of chick embryos in ovo for 10-12 hr with inhibitors of protein and RNA synthesis during the peak time of normal cell death (Embryonic Day 8) for motoneurons and dorsal root ganglion cells markedly reduces the number of degenerating neurons in these populations. The massive neuronal death induced by the early absence of the limbs was also blocked almost completely by these agents. Further, the death of neurons following peripheral axotomy at the end of the normal cell death period (Embryonic Day 10) was reduced significantly by treatment with inhibitors of biosynthetic reactions. These results indicate that, in vivo, naturally occurring neuronal death, neuronal death induced by the absence of peripheral targets, and axotomy-induced neuronal death later in development all require active gene expression and protein and RNA synthesis. Therefore, neuronal death in a variety of situations may reflect the expression of a developmental fate that can normally only be overridden or suppressed by specific environmental signals (e.g., neurotrophic molecules).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center